“Remembering The Good Times” is a story of Buck Mendenhall, Kate Lucas, and Travis Kirby. Kate and Buck meet, see the birth of a foal, and Buck buys Kate a cold drink. They are inseparable until they meet Trav. He is different - a perfectionist. He comes from"money." Kate has her great- grandmother’s love and Buck’s parents are divorced. The three are different, but spend time together building friendship. They enjoy and play cards with Polly Prior, Kate’s great-grandmother. Kate, Buck and Trav share the stress of starting high school. The friendship wavers because of new stress of high school. Their perfect world is changing. When Trav, acts out and ends up in jail, his parents send him to his uncle’s farm. When he returns, he is tan yet; Buck seems to notice a hollow look and dark circles under the tan. They meet at Polly’s house and Trav brings them gifts. After Travis kills himself that they realize the meaning of the gifts. Kate says, “He gave us those presents because he wouldn’t need them anymore. Buck, he was saying good-bye. And we were deaf people. We were blind.” Travis couldn’t deal with the pressure of living as a perfectionist. No matter how privileged, his life was beyond his control. The only thing he felt was left to do was to die. My favorite quote is: “in your memories it is never raining.”
Richard Peck is well known for his works in which young adults confront personal problems such as rape, divorce, peer pressure, suicide, and the pains of growing up. In Remembering the Good Times, Kate Lucas, Trav Kirby, and Buck Mendenhall are three close friends who must deal with several of these problems. Although Kate and Buck had met before, the two form a close friendship with Trav when the three of them begin eighth grade together. From then until the beginning of their sophomore year in high school, they are almost inseparable in spite of school plays, debate teams, freshman football, and Skeeter Calhoun who is the school bully. As they struggle through adolescence, their community is also struggling through change from a rural township to suburban sprawl.
Kate and Buck adjust, but Trav seems lost under the pressures to achieve and succeed.